Lake Fork Report & Pics - Spawning Pairs In The Shallows
As we enter May, I’m still seeing some spawning pairs in the shallows at Lake Fork. Between the fry guarders, spawning fish and the bass chasing the hoards of shad spawning in the grass, 10’ and less has been my best depth range this week. As a result, I expect the shallows will remain the best pattern for a couple more weeks. Meanwhile, a few fish are starting to show up on deep structure and a number of fish are hanging out in mid-range depths (8’ to 18’). Just about any bait in your tackle box will work at some point in May, and the fishing will continue to get better as the females wrap up their spawning rituals and put on the feedbag. From lunkers on topwaters to structure fishing for schools of big bass on crankbaits, swimbaits, and Carolina rigs, the annual summer whack-fest is about to begin. Head on out to Lake Fork this summer and find out why May, June, and July are the favorite months of many Fork regulars.
Lake Conditions: With a little less rain this week, Fork is about normal pool and clearing. The lake level is currently reading 402.86’ (about 2” below full pool). Much of the north end and backs of major creeks are still stained to muddy, however, the south end remains quite clear. We’ve been catching the bass equally from muddy and clear water, so don’t let the stained water keep you out of productive coves. Water temps were reading from 65 to 70 in the main lake, while we found some creeks as warm as 80.
Location Pattern: I’m finding most of the bigger spawning fish nearer the mouths of coves and on main lake flats in 8’ and less. While some bass are spawning in the newly flooded grass and cattails, many are spawning or staging along the inside grassline in about 4’. In addition, many bass are also holding amongst the rapidly burgeoning lily pads. The slightly deeper structure like points, creek channels, and ledges in 8’ to 18’, adjacent to areas with numbers of shallow spawning bass, is where we’ve found most of the bigger females. Deep structure in 15’ to 30’ is also starting to hold a few good fish, but the bite is very sporadic.
Presentation Pattern: Shad colored topwaters, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and jerkbaits have been productive for actively feeding post spawners this week. Concentrate on areas with a lot of spawning shad, bass beds, or bluegill beds for the fastest action. For the bass holding in the newly flooded vegetation, swimming a green pumpkin red/pearl Fork Frog is hard to beat. Meanwhile, for bass around beds and on the spawning flats, 3.5” and 4.5” Live Magic Shads have produced well this week. Rig these on the new Swimbait hooks from Lake Fork Trophy Lures and try the watermelon red/pearl, watermelon seed/red flake, golden shiner, or Magic Shad colors. While some bass are biting on the swim, our best retrieve has been dead-sticking on the bottom, followed by swimming it a few feet and letting it fall back to the bottom, repeating this all the way back to the boat. When the bass are more finicky, a regular Magic Shad rigged weightless or on a light Carolina rig has done well. Try watermelon candy, watermelon/red or bull bream colors for this. For spawning bass, white or watermelon Fork Craws and Merthiolate twitch worms have worked well. Out deeper, ½ oz Mega Weight Jigs in black/blue with blue bruiser or watermelon candy colored Fork Craw trailers or Texas rigged Fork Creatures in the same colors are catching some big bass on points. And swimbaits or deep diving crankbaits in shad or yellow bass patterns are catching some suspended bass as well.
Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams. If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.
Louis caught his biggest bass ever with me, 8 lb 6 oz, taking big bass honors for the Enbridge company outing:
Gary with a Lake Fork lunker, 8 lb 5 oz:
Matt won the big bass pot with this 7.25 lb’er and finished in 2nd place for the 5 fish limit while fishing with me during the United Healthcare outing:
Mike with a good shallow water chunk:
About The Author: Captain Tom Redington
Company: Lake Fork Bass Guide Service
Area Reporting: Lake Fork Texas
Bio: My mission is to help you learn the skills to catch lots of big fish on Lake Fork—skills that will also help you catch more and bigger fish on your home lake and any other lakes you fish. In addition, I will focus my efforts on your goals for our trip—whether you want to learn a new technique, find fish for an upcoming tournament, learn the current patterns for a week’s visit to Fork, or just have an enjoyable day with friends, family or a client.